Want to become the next Apple or Bloomberg? Give Data Centers a thought.

Remember how Richard came up with the idea of building an entire new internet via maximizing data compression on a cloud based system that drove the entire Silicon Valley absolutely crazy? If you’ve, Man was it devastating when ‘The Pied Piper’ lost their Data Servers just ’cause of the Traffic they’re too weak to handle? Well maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about, and I get it, I’m not here to give you a flashback of the most adorable Tech show, but instead, talk about how almost every company out there needs to have a solid Data storage infrastructure. Ever speculated about how you’re able to binge watch your favorite Netflix TV shows or Post thousand of pictures online? Data Centers get the job done! Period!

 

Picture credits:Flickr

 

There used to be a time when IBM, Or Google were known for their massive Data Centers. Then DropBox entered roaring in to share the load via cloud services, But look at us now, with everything now being stored digitally, I wasn’t amused when J.P. Morgan hired the elites of Data Analysts who now operate it’s data centers with operating costs of well over $500 million. Yes! A BANK did that. Facebook is expanding every single day, and ‘Making the world more connected’, but how is it doing that? Yes! You guessed it, Data centers take care of keeping all the Billions posts shared on the social media platform by roughly 1.9 Billion People across the world, accessible. (TechCruch reports: A look inside Facebook’s data Center), with 6000 tweets tweeted, 40,000 Google searches done, and more than 2 Million E-mails sent every single second, I leave the math to you! As of September 2014, The internet has 1 Billion active and parked domain websites, said Tim Berners Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, in a Tweet. And these are the websites that are indexed by Alphabet inc., famous as Google, Bing and other search engines, but what about the websites that aren’t?

 

And how about shifting our focus to Apple, the first iPhone came out 10 years ago, and Apple is now the most sought after smartphone company in the world, followed by Samsung. (The Telegraph Reports: Apple topples Samsung as world’s biggest smartphone maker.) What led to this? Well Marketing was that link between the companies and the users, but Marketing just via Billboards and TV commercials has now become a thing of the past. Digital Marketing invaded and sliced the industry in it’s own domain, everyone wants to sell, and they know they can’t do it without the internet. How does YouTube endorses thousands of these commercials by such Tech Goliath? Well, Money is one thing, but Data is that currency that sets you up in Tech business. The well you handle it, the well you sell. Apple is taking over the world of Consumer tech right now with iCloud, and syncing iTunes and Apple Music just via a click, that’s it! Not forgetting the brand new Beats one Radio or OVO sounds radio and the much anticipated iOS 11.

 

Amazon is probably the hottest thing right now on the internet, sounds like a movie how a man named Jeff started selling books online and now has become the biggest name in Silicon Valley and the world, something that started off as a small E-commerce is now aiming to become the next Netflix (via Amazon Prime) and a pioneer in robotics and Space Research. (CNN Money reports: Jeff Bezos tests giant Robot suit.). All ’cause he handled the DATA decently. So It’s true that your favourite Tech company is making a huge amount of money, but they’re paying a hefty price for that. Still don’t have FAITH in TechxFaith? Well we got it backed up! Here,

CNBC in a recent Report on Apple: Apple invests $1 billion in a Data Center in China.

The Stack in a recent Report on Twitter: Twitter reported to have made massive data center investment in Atlanta 

Data Economy Reports on Facebook, AWS: Mega Tech Giants Facebook, AWS to expand Ireland Data Center footprints. 


Picture Credits: Blogspot/EquinixDataCenter

Verses handling of Data has now become as significant as managing your Startup Funds. The demand for Data Analysts & Scientists is on the rise more than ever. All ’cause of the recent statistics that imply that just Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook collectively store at least 1,200 petabytes between them. That is 1.2 million terabytes (one terabyte is 1,000 gigabytes). Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba.com proudly emphasized on how significant it is for almost every company (irrespective of it’s domain.) to handle the data. Well, I guess you’ll agree with him. You wouldn’t be reading this Blog if WordPress.com didn’t handle the 28% of the entire web traffic so well that it does, today!

 

Well the rules are simple, want to be the next big name in tech?  Just know that we don’t need Harvard MBA’s or the best of stock brokers on Wall Street, But instead, the people who can carry out the math, do massive data analysis and Handle it!

 

 

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Diving in to the Future.

Didn’t it all start so simple? Me, You & Gorillas. But then the credibility for believing that there’s always more that we need to know, lead to somewhat of a Tech-olution under the mask of this urge for curiosity. We needed to explore what’s out there far far away, so we did. Landed a man on the moon, unquestionably impressive! James Cameron came up with the idea of a cyborg film, Terminator, breathtaking! But somewhere in the middle of our curiosity and exceptional film-making, we devastated the basic idea of Humanity, “Mankind was and will be the greatest species there has ever been.” Period! We’re making robots, far exceptional than us, faster than us, ‘mathematically intelligent’ than us, but lack fundamental emotional intelligence as well. So think about it, 10, 20, 100 years from now, what sort of future are we looking at? ’cause the way I and I’m sure some of you see it, may be the ‘artificially intelligent’ robots will be indifferent to human and gorillas. What have we done? Where are we headed?

So let’s talk honestly about automation, about Self-Driving Cars, Tech Startups, Drones, and everything that has a ‘Machine” in it from our perspective, the mankind. Not merely seeing what the global companies want us to see, and more importantly, think what they want us to think, ’cause we’re not programmed machines, we’re the mankind. This is our future! We survived it, we did the math. Let’s see how it turns out. How we envisioned it versus the turbulence that may come with it. Like they say, Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst(Oops!).
Have faith.

(Picture: International space station, Google Street view.)

A ravishing constitutional chutzpah : Indian Elections

Recent instances of defections in Indian state assemblies abjure constitutional mechanisms and impact libertarian democracy.

Photo: Indian Express | Karnataka Vidhan Sabha | In 2019, a political slugfest mired by a massive defection of 17 members of legislative assemblies caused a fall of H.D. Kumaraswamy’s government.

With the onset of elections, the political charisma of national and regional parties narrows down the public opinion to one candidate for each electoral constituency. The votes are polled, exit calculations are debated on television with hype and Election Commission of India announces the strongman for the next five years. Read this one more time, probably write it on paper and toss that in a garbage-can near you!

That the elections happen vis-á-vis Representation of People Act, 1951 & guidelines issued by Electoral officers is a notion in fallacy. Members of legislative parliaments in Indian states condone the underlying issues of citizens in electioneering but how will they attend to those issues and importantly, on what ideological lines has become increasingly difficult to articulate. With a seemingly ineffectual Anti-defection law, the governments fall, the ministers are devoured by few and the infamous & notorious ”homecoming” is celebrated pompously. The citizens renounce their elected representatives as political opportunists and pay their allegiance to the new government ’cause of an unambiguous lack of options. But how does that happen? How does the world’s largest democracy fail to safeguard the constitutionally chosen group of members in legislative assemblies of her states from this obvious political surreptitiousness?

Photo: The Times of India | Shivraj Singh Chouhan (centre) took oath as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh in late March, 2020, after Indian National Congress’ political icon Jyotiraditya Scindia went rogue and initiated the fall of Kamal Nath’s government.

A weak anti-defection law, a consistent fascination with incendiary muscle power and political stardom and tender ideological cohesiveness in political parties facilitate this openly. An exasperated judicial system marked by occasional vexations of such flamboyant switches adds up to the issue at large. The recent fall of H.D. Kumaraswamy’s Janta Dal (Secular)-Congress led government in Karnataka, Kamal Nath’s led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh, the infamous defection of 10 Members of legislative assemblies affiliated with Congress to Bhartiya Janata Party in Goa, of the home minister of Mizoram, R. Lalzirliana, backed by Congress who defected to Mizo National Front (MNF) just before the state assembly elections, defection by 12 of the 16 MLAs backed by Congress to Telangana Rashtra Samiti(TRS) in Telangana are some of the vivid examples of failure of the psephological machinery in India. “The good, the bad & the ugly” power-sharing episode in Maharashtra’s state assembly recently was a flagrant dereliction of constitutional obligations of elected representatives at best, and political timidity at worst.

Photo: Hindustan Times | A massive political conundrum prevailed in Maharashtra assembly elections in 2019 when Ajit Pawar (right) switched his political affiliations three times in less than 24 hours. The timid switchover made Devendra Fadnavis (left) the Chief Minister of Maharashtra for one day after which he had to resign due to the lack of confidence and strength in numbers.

The anti-defection legislation enacted on March 1st, 1985 has ceased to have an impact and is just not enough to countervail this miasma of political opportunism and intolerance in India. The legislation empowers the presiding officer of the house of legislature to adjudicate on the instances of defections with no time constraints. If it wasn’t for Kihoto Hollohan v. Zachillhu and Others (1992), her decisions were not even open to judicial review! The judgement enabled the higher judiciary to consider scrutiny by the House’s Speaker as one by a tribunal, have an active opinion on the speaker’s adjudication in defection matters and puts her political neutrality to a legal scrutiny. But has the slugfest stopped? The recent election of defectors in Karnataka on Bhartiya Janata Party’s ticket does reflect badly on the whole fiasco.

As elections to Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian parliament nears, the fears of defection have already surfaced in Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. The lobbying of Members of Vidhan Sabha in resorts and hotels even with the coronavirus pandemic lurking around and the medical risks associated with it still profound, it clearly shows how serious the threat of defection is to political parties. Baseless calculations by media houses of Sachin Pilot, the Congress chief in Rajasthan, possibly defecting to the Bhartiya Janta Party nevertheless, adds up to the pressure and instigates anarchy in the constitutional assemblies of the state.

Indian states have had a date with coalition governments and political compromises since independence. Recent instances have exposed their fragilities and governance volatility has taken the driver’s seat. Will the assembly elections in Bihar, India’s most politically unstable state with 40 regime changes and 25 Chief Ministers in the last 70 years, reflect on the aspirations of her citizens or has the notion of ‘electoral democracy in a consistent existential crisis’ become ‘business as usual’ remains to be seen.

Well this party’s on Democracy and Populists aren’t invited!

Recent constitutional fulminations across the world have ravaged populist political notions and challenged strongmen leaders.

Photo : The Atlantic

The tenuous political romance between Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz to resolve the electoral kerfuffle that has been looming over Israel for the last few months; The authoritarian connivance between The Republic of China and Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam to subvert democracy and dissent in the Special Administrative Region; The unparalleled and rambunctious ‘Great Indian Citizenship’ project in India which is nevertheless, a flagrant disregard for her complex constitution; Consistent derangement of Muslim minorities and even the House of Lords by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have one thing in common – the citizens have responded with zealous protests and exercised their democratic rights to do so!

Photo : Wall Street Journal | Incumbent Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu has struck an unruly government coalition with the opposition in a bid to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Israel‘s citizens voted for her Prime Minister for the third time, this year on March 2nd, 2020. In a “same shit, different day” aftermath, none of the political parties won enough seats to establish a majority in 120 members strong Knesset, the Israeli Parliament. Netanyahu’s rightwing Likud party had won 36 seats while his rival, Gantz’s Blue & White party secured a narrow count of 32 and yet again, the elections were inconsequential with none of the leaders winning a majority. The ravenous electoral campaigns were riven with political aspersions, a coalition governance seemed like an impossible option between the two leaders on the opposite sides of ideological axels. In a cinematic turnaround, a coalition was forged that left the propaganda machinery on both sides absolutely flummoxed. With Netanyahu’s judicial trial for ‘corruption charges’ due in May and his political capabilities flouted by Benny Gantz during election campaigns, the announcement for a partnership didn’t resonate well with the Israeli people. Where will this concoction take Israel is left to be seen. In the meantime, protests have erupted in the West Asian country over this “arrangement of insensitivity” and the future of Palestinian annexation policy facilitated by President Donald Trump looks murkier than ever before.

Photo : TIME | Citizens in Hong Kong get back on the streets amidst the coronavirus threat, this time against a NATIONAL SECURITY LAW that gives PRC exceptional controls over the ‘Special Administrative Region’

In a wild “Good Riddance” moment, HongKongers have taken to the streets again! Mired by the coronavirus pandemic and a plummeting economy, the citizens of the Special Administrative Region are back on the streets, this time against a controversial ‘National Security law’ purported by Beijing to exercise greater control over the former British colony. The law gives The Republic of China an exclusive power to deploy Chinese intelligence officials and along with the Hong Kong police, oppress dissent and demands for democracy. Advocated by Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam, the draft law has surpassed the legislative council of the city and the guns of authoritarianism have begun to shoot on sight. The relentless pursuit of contestations by an authoritarian China has pushed the city to her limits and it seems like there’s no going back any more. With the U.S. threatening sanctions on PRC, and European Union vying for diplomatic actions against her, Hong Kong is making her case strong and has the much required backing. Will Xi give up or the “umbrellas” ricochet another attack on human rights? The answer doesn’t seem far away.

Photo : New York Times | Indian citizens protesting in December against the Citizenship Amendment Law or CAA, 2019. Abnegated for being passed surreptitiously in the ‘Lok Sabha’ strongly controlled by Narendra Modi, the citizens have been on the move relentlessly.

In December 2019, the right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janta Party opened a nasty can of worms in the world’s largest democracy. India, a deeply religious country never faced such scathing attacks on her secular constitution, until Prime Minster Narendra Modi returned to power with a landslide victory in the general elections held earlier that year. A miasmic Citizenship amendment law that entitles citizenship rights to non-muslim refugees who have fled (religious) persecution from India’s neighbouring nations traversed by a national register of citizens (NRC) hasn’t resonated well with minorities in the country. The Indian Supreme Court has been irresponsive at best and ignoramus at worst towards this incisive harassment of minorities and refugees. Though a signatory to the international legal policy of non-refoulement, the ravaging Home Minister has overlooked these obligations and has pushed the law in a boxer rebellion style. Censured by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Michelle Bachelet, she has moved the Indian Supreme Court to serve as an “amicus curiae” in the petitions involving the constitutional challenges against the law. The country has witnessed virulent public protests and student arrests in recent times. Police brutality and propagandist adventurism was in full swing until the nation was severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic. India, a country of more than a billion people with a fragile health infrastructure has so far put up a tough fight against the virus. Will the pandemic provide a majoritarian government with a macabre opportunity to push its notorious agendas even further without civic resistance or will The Republic get back on the streets with the same charisma? Recent tussles of migrant workers with the Indian police in Gujarat and Maharashtra hint that the resistance to Modi’s fallacies prevails safe & sound.

Photo : Financial Times | Europhiles celebrate on the streets of Westminster as Lady Hale, the president of U.K. Supreme Court renounced U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend the parliament in a bid to avoid deliberations of the Tory’s Brexit deal with the opposition, Labour Party.

The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has had a rough ride with the coronavirus. Abjuring scientific findings on the disease and advocating for ‘Herd Immunity’ hasn’t earned him Churchill’s debauchery and unsurprisingly, has not turned out to be in the best interests of the English. His political acumen to deal with coronavirus went downhill when he tested positive for the virus himself. The Brexit chaos, a riveting confrontation with the Labour party and a suave suspension of the House of Lords to avoid any opportunity for discussions with the opposition before the “European exit” has dented the conservative Odyssey’s political career more than ever before. An impulsive yet a hardliner Tory who has been vying for power ever since David Cameron stepped down as the British top political figure, he did so by devouring every British Muslim in sight with xenophobic attacks and as it turned out, the wave of populism set things in motion. But as he fixed his date with the royalty, the country has resisted any further attacks on democracy, with the British Supreme Court terming Boris’ suspension of the U.K. parliament a serious stain on freedom of speech in the English country. While speculations for a second Scottish independence referendum are looming large, What is the future from here for the British? Britain clearly can’t afford another year of failed transitional diplomacy after all, so will the hypernationalist English glory be back home? So far, it seems as impossible as Boris ever combing his hair!

Four sovereign nations, thousands of demonstrations and millions of people. A drink of free will, a glass of rights and few populists on acid. The psychedelia has just begun to kick in. Hasn’t it?

A politics of glass.

Fake news, hypernationalism and Maverick political leaders have institutionalised authoritarianism in the world we live in today.

Photo : Vox Media

Kashmir, Xinjiang, Jaffna, São Polo, Minneapolis, Hong Kong, Moscow & Caracas; once exuberant and passionate cities of the world have now dissipated to political revanchism and ignominious abstrusity. A world connected ‘online’ more than ever before has begun to witness populism on its smartphone screens and the cascading impact that it has on Human Rights, Humanitarian Equality and the mere ability of a voter to think. What’s rudimentary to this modern-day farrago is a political will to desecrate institutions, foment fake news on social media and well, nationalist leaders endorsing the same ambiguous information.

The laxity in leadership in some of the most promising nations during the Coronavirus pandemic is appalling. The world has begun to witness the indifference of political leaders towards poor people and immigrants. Migrant labourers in India, favelas in Brazil, Pro-democracy protestors and Human Rights Activists in Hong Kong or black “thugs” in U.S.A., people after people have been subjected to government backed violence, police brutality and fake News. President Donald Trump’s provocateur references for criticising media and science have often been corroborated as fake news. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaigns for disinformation on economics, poverty and his prolonged silence on murkiest undermining of secular ethos of the world’s biggest democracy are unnerving. President Jair Bolsonaro’s consistent abjuring of science has enervated Brazil’s healthcare system and has affected slum dwellers, the lower middle class and small business owners. All of this is easily overlooked by political supporters by either subversion of critical media or a tweet that, “everything is okay, and it’s probably the lame stream media or political opponents.”

Photo: Reuters | Migrant Workers in India have been subjected to police brutality and are forced to walk thousand of miles to reach home amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

This proliferation of Fake News has facilitated hyper-nationalism in unbedevilling ways! Few incendiary Facebook posts and Tweets are just about enough to redux ultranationalists and “inadvertently” begin an episode of oppression, racism and killings without a denouement in sight. Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, Minority Muslims in New Delhi and African-Americans in Minnesota have witnessed some of the worst riots of the 21st century. The provenance of Fake News is near impossible to articulate, but the impact it has on communities can be. Facebook Inc. and Twitter have to, nevertheless come to the frontline and devise mechanisms to control Fake News, but much more than that, it requires political will and that’s exactly what the world lacks right now. Fake News and Propaganda is the “get-rich-quick” scheme of the conservatives and nationalist leaders. The emasculation of a voter’s ability to make thoughtful political decisions catalyses the Fake yet nationalistic narrative even further and makes it much easier for politicians to “connect” with their support base. This political finesse impacts democracy and constitutional mechanisms everywhere.

Photo: CNN | President Jair Bolsonaro rejects the coronavirus pandemic and holds a public rally in Rio. As of June 2nd, 2020, Brazil is the second worst affected country in the world by the COVID-19 pandemic after U.S.

Photo : NYT | President Donald Trump has often been accused of intolerance in White House news conferences, has rejected the coronavirus pandemic & discouraged wearing of masks. As of June 2nd, 2020, U.S. is the worst affected country by the pandemic. Further, he has endorsed Fake reports on effectiveness of Hydroxychloroquine on his Twitter account and berated The Lancet for rejecting his claims on the drug.
Subversion of human rights and arousal of chasms in communities doesn’t always happen by spreading propaganda and Fake News or “using the Internet selectively”, the political class has mastered the art of restricting disagreement and constructive criticism by internet shutdowns all over the world. Media has been subjected to impetuous harassment and even blatant accusations of sedition & perfidy if it disagrees to agree with the point of view in “vogue”. China’s denialism of allowing New York Times reporters in their “mainland”, consistent harassment of “Fake-CNN” by the U.S. and India’s flagrant renouncing of press conferences with media houses on the other side of the ideological spectrum is one of the biggest challenge of our times. Democracy’s foundation lies in the potential to ask questions, and that is exactly what’s threatened today. The dogma of the biggest leaders of the world armed with the capabilities to change the planet’s future and their unadorned denial of responding to criticism is as dangerous as it sounds like.

The 21st century has come with her own complex issues. How are we going to solve them and Can there be catharsis if we do not? In a world where the political leaders try to reflect us in them, are we fit enough to comprehend whether it’s for the better or is it just a glass that reflects back tyranny and fallible socio-economic & geo-political insecurities in the facade of nationalism? The choice is up to us, it always has.

Engineering our Choices.

Automation, okay! Artificial Intelligence, Quite alright. Machine Learning Algorithm, well it sets the bar high. But All of them together, it surely makes us look so naïve.
I mean picture this, we started off with nothing, then made something out of nothing, and look where we’re today. But the question isn’t where have we been, or where we’re right now, Future demands more!

automation-stage_01

Every code that we’re developing now is mathematics aimed at Potential Machines, not Potential People. How extraordinary can a machine perform at the standards of impossible?, doesn’t matter if the cost is a man’s incertitude. We’re trying to take over every industry out there, (VIA MACHINES.) though we call it optimizing, is there a different side to it? Well, Start off with this report via Vox.

The stories we can tell about why ATMs would replace all bank tellers, or online learning would displace most teachers, or digital diagnostic tools would make many doctors superfluous, are at least as convincing as the stories we can tell about AI-driven job displacement, and the technology is already here. – Ezra Klein.

And it’s not just engineering that’s trying to be imperative to the goals of inexhausting functioning, but somewhere down the line it’s questioning People as the fundamental resource of a business, by entirely re-innovating the decisions of human interaction. There’ve been insights to this entire business infrastructure.

 Automation is so much more than an economic problem. It is a cultural problem, an identity problem, and—critically—a gender problem. Millions of men around the world are staring into the lacquered teeth of obsolescence, terrified of losing not only their security but also their source of meaning and dignity in a world that tells them that if they’re not rich, they’d better be doing something quintessentially manly for money. Otherwise they’re about as much use as a wooden coach-and-four on the freeway. – Laurie Penny, for WIRED magazine.

Well now it has become more of a Speculation Vs Speculation kind of a thing. Another side of the story is backed by Banks. Investment analysts boldly suggest that AI isn’t there to threaten them any time sooner, which sounds assuring from their standpoint and the reason is quite simple. It’s MONEY!

Kyle McEnery, an investment analyst at the Scottish fund house, says, “In investment in particular, I think this would be mainly welcomed by our human investors.” via Finacial Times.

Pretty much the same old situation for Wall Street, NIKKEI and every major stock exchange there is in our world. You can make computers work faster, but can you make it predict future? Certainly, the answer is.. NO?

There’s THIS bright side to it which has kept the progress going, and has established our Faith in Tech. Everything revolves around cost-efficiency. Period.
For instance, using 3-D printers to build homes could cut the cost of housing to a more manageable level so that families wouldn’t have to devote most of their income to mortgage payments. If machines could 3-D print homes using high-density resins, a structure that now costs $200,000 might cost $50,000. Jeff Greene via Fortune Magazine.

And then ofcourse there’re TESLAs saving the world of energy right now. Followed by Volkswagen, Mercedes and Volvo optimising automobile fuel consumptions to a whole another level.

Can the Machines be creative enough to acquire the skills of the people whose professions shape our lives? Yes! The musicians, artists, athletes, politicians and many more. ‘Cause nobody really wants to listen to an automated Kanye West. But sadly, it’s happening! And Engineering Music & Sound by the leading artists might be a thing of the past as well.

Ultimately, It all depends on how creative the MACHINES actually are. The future can be predicted, but there’s a future that can be ENGINEERED, too. What would that have in store for us? And importantly, what does it have in store for engineering?
And till the Tech companies are busy figuring it out, and probably killing various aspects of Tech unintuitively themselves, you’ve your choices to make.

 

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